Over the gate...

Designed in 1913 by Victorian/Edwardian/other architect Theophilus A Allen; John Lennon's house between 1964 and 1968; sunroom, attic and prisco stripe hibernice; Mellotron and caravan; Babidji and Mimi; mortar and pestle; Wubbleyoo Dubbleyoo; curios and curiosity; remnants and residue; testimonials and traces; (Cavendish Avenue, Sunny Heights and Kinfauns); Montagu Square; mock Tudor: Brown House: *KENWOOD*.

(Also available as a blog.)

Legal Blah: This blog is for historical research only, and is strictly non-commercial. All visual and audio material remains the property of the respective copyright owner, and no implication of ownership by me is intended or should be inferred. Any copyright owner who wants something removed should contact me and I will do so immediately. Alternatively, I would be delighted to provide a credit. The writing is by me, such as it is, unless otherwise stated, and this is the only Beatles related blog I am responsible for.

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Correspond via: kenwoodlennon@googlemail.com

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

3a Seymour Walk: St Dunstan's Priory.

Pete Shotton picks a party chez Lionel Bart, held on 9 October 1965 and attended by all four Fabs, as the epitome o' Shwinging Shixties shiznizzle. Bart, extremely successful songwriter that he was, owned "the Priory" (pictured above) in Seymour Walk from 1964-1968, and here it was that the aforementioned wing-ding shwinged. (Get togethers round Lionel's were a regular occurrence, and featured all the accoutrements one might expect. For related reasons, Brian Epstein was both good friends with Mr Bart and a frequent attendee.)
Here Lionel is in the first floor drawing room:

In Pete's book, a couple of Polaroids show Cyn, Patti and Beth Shotton reclining on the remnants of some poor beastie in this very locale:

Bart's piano can just about be discerned:

A couple more "areas":

John apparently loved this place. Quoth Pete: "Much to John's amusement and delight, our gracious host had also contrived to turn his house into a veritable labyrinth of trapdoors, hidden stairways and secret passages. Wandering about the house, John and I were constantly colliding with walls where, but a moment earlier, there had most assuredly been corridors or rooms."
Now. A couple of plans exist, dating from early 1964 and March 1965, and these show the alterations that Bart made to the Priory - here is a bearings-getting red arrow:

Funnily enuff, said plans show no evidence of jiggery, or indeed, pokery of the type that Pete mentions. A couple of doors get altered, the odd window is fiddled aboot with, but that's about it:

However, the ground floor was a rabbit warren (not literally - that would have been ridiculous), and this fact, combined with the freely available substances that were a mainstay of such festivities, might account for etc.:

Lionel 'n' John, John 'n' Lionel:

And that's yer lot.

Monday, 9 December 2013

In Gratitude: January 11, 1981.

Around a month after John was killed, Yoko issued a statement which ran as a full page ad in various newspapers. I've seen it quoted before, but hadn't read the full thing. A copy literally fell into my lap at werk the other day, so here, for reasons that don't need stating, it is (scanned at hi-res - download and zoom in to read).

Monday, 18 November 2013

Quarry Bank: ersing aboot, May 1957.

Ever wondered why all those around John are laughing? And in particular, ever further wondered why there is a gap in the row immediately behind? Me neither. But here's why...
By all accounts, John viewed his time at school as little more than a never-ending series of opportunities for "ersing aboot". Japery, pranks and casual violence was the order of the day, but most of this "dicking" is, inevitably, lost in the etc. However, this famous school pic actually captures an example thereof.
The missing party behind John is fellow pupil Harry Gooseman. John, apparently, persuaded him to try to "get on the photo twice." I'm not sure about this, but the full, uncropped version is very long, and may actually be a composite of several pics - in which case the idea was to get your photo taken in one location, then sprint along a bit and also appear somewhere else. When the composite was put together, there would be two of you in different places.
Aaaanyway, Harry went too soon, thus not appearing in the first location, but is captured, just, popping up again further along:

Wot larks! Actually, quite amusing and a typically Lennon-esque bit of schoolboy, as I say, "ersing".

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Pre-1963 Sexual Intercourse: a discourse.

Gentle readah, the time has come, at long last, to turn our ugly faces to the innocent thangs of life (Are ye sure about this? - Adjectives Ed.). Yes, I am not.
For I speak (in this specific instance) of none other than the rumble in the jungle (shurely not these days? - Pubic Ed.), ploughing the furry furrow (ditto. - Ditto Ed.), doing the special cuddle and, last, but by no means least, allowing (just this once) one's man-snake to run amok in the lady-garden of one's significant other.
J. W. "Jonathon" Lennon was, by all accounts, a bit of a shagger. John's art school chum Tony Carricker is quoted thusly in the Extended Edition: "He was already with Cynthia, I think, being unfaithful. If you can get it at eighteen, nineteen, you do. And John was a great one for the back alley behind Lewis's at night, the dark back alley running parallel to Renshaw Street."
Above, on the left, Liverpool, Renshaw Street, the front of Lewis's circa 1959 ie the very time of which we speak. Plus the present day street view. Below, the very alley arrowed (yes, I am actually doing this) of which was spoken:

Back in the day, it looked much the same as now, as the following from waaaay back shows:

Unt the alley itself - Cropper Street:

Now. I am not denying that John was a very naughty boy indeed, and he quite possibly had any number of dalliances in this locale...but, Cynthia in her first autobiography specifically remembers the front of Lewis's as a favourite meeting spot. She even illustrated it, in order to demonstrate the unwelcome attention she'd receive as a result of dressing as John desired:

In her second tome, she recalls thusly: "When Stuart's room wasn't available, John would try to talk me into 'quickies' in dark alleys or shop doorways. Much as I loved him, I didn't enjoy these snatched encounters...". (Nice choice of adjective - Adjectives Ed.). This whole thang is undoubtedly too much information, but I suspect given the regularity of their meetings at the front entrance, and John's apparent liking for the rear, what we have here is actually a twisted (geddit?) example of John's fidelity.
In any case, I'd like to see them get their modern Magical History Tour bus up this:

With deepest apologies.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Liverpool: Falkner Street, 36 thereof.

Chosen, no doubt, for its chippy proximity, number 36 Falkner Street was Brian's paddy pad pad for his dillying, and, lest we forget, dallying, a pad subsequently gifted to John and Cyn as a wedding pressie pad. Or was it? Mr Lewisohn posits the following intriguing footnote: "It was probably number 36, but no one remembers this with any certainty and no document has surfaced - from Brian's time there or John and Cyn's - to prove it."
Hmmm. In 1995, Cyn returned (or did she?) in order to promote her version of Those Were The Days My Friend We Thought They Would Never End We Would Laugh And Laugh And Laugh And Weep Uncontrollably And Laugh Etc.. The above shows her entering for the first time in over 30 years (or was it?).
She seems fairly sure this was the place in the footage, but does say (suspiciously), "It's all changed, obviously". At any rate, this is the living room/kitchen:

As is this:

As is this:

As, ye guessed it, is this:

But was it? I dunno! Funny if it wasn't though!
Ye can view the footage HERE.
Regulah readahs will know the high regard in which I hold the trade edition of Mr Lewisohn's bewk. But having waded into the extended edition over the last couple of days, I have to say it is of a completely different order to any Beatles book I have ever read. It's a masterpiece, an astonishing werk of social history, and anyone with sufficient nous needs to read it. I can say no more (though I will when I've actually finished it).

Duke Street, Liverpool: Joe's Restaurant.

Joe's Restaurant (or Joe's Caff, as it was known), was one of those pivotal places. Being both centrally situated and open late (10pm to 4am), the Beatles and many others naturally gravitated here following an evening's shenanigans. This was where Brian would sometimes meet his "boys" post-dispiriting-trudge-round-London-record-companies (here too where John made his "Right Brian, try Embassy" quip).
Nothing much remains, o'course, the caff having long since been re-converted into a conventional terraced house.
Back in the day, though, curry and jelly were John's scran o' choice from the menu, and featured as such in an early questionnaire:

Also not quite true to say that nothing whatsoever endures: close inspection of the vintage pic reveals the shop sign for P.F Garnett and Co. Ltd., a couple of doors down, hanging still:

Lots of the old Liverpool may have gone, but here and there, remarkably, etc:

A doff o' the cap to Mr Lewisohn's bewk for enlightenment.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Quarry Bank: that Lennon's detention sheets.

This pair of fairly amusing documents is up for auction via Tracks at the moment, and they've supplied a detailed (and equally amusing) press release which I certainly can't better, so, in the interests of extreme laziness, here some of it is verbatim. (The quotes in italics are from Rod Davis, about whom ye will shurely already know.) Re. the above, relating to Form 3B:

"The detention sheet covers the period between May 19th and June 23rd 1955. John Lennon always portrayed himself as bit of a rough handful at school. This detention sheet supports this view and, in fact, if anything, it shows John to be actually worse than he made himself out to be.

This page was part of a class detention book that was rescued from a bonfire at Quarry Bank High School in the late 1970s. During a summer break at Quarry Bank a member of staff was asked to clear out a storage room to make space for a newly appointed teacher. His instruction was to burn all of the books which were stored in the room. Whilst burning a number of old and redundant books he spotted the name ‘Lennon’ at the top of some of the pages in the book and quickly realised it contained details of the detentions imposed on John Lennon. He tore the sheet from the book and retained it as a keep sake. A number of the pages that he had taken out of the book and kept were unfortunately destroyed at a later date in an accident involving chemicals. Other sheets he gave away. This page is one of the few that have survived.

In relation to the different detentions listed, the following information is specified on the page from the book: The date that the detention was given, the reason for the punishment, the date that the detention was served and the initials of the teacher who imposed the punishment. Where possible we have tried to establish the identity of the various teachers who gave John detention. The information in red written within quotation marks was supplied to us by Rod Davis. Rod was John Lennon’s school friend and a former band member of John’s group, The Quarrymen. He very kindly helped to provide us with the information relating to the identity of some of the teachers who had initialled the page and their respective responsibilities at Quarry Bank etc.

May 19th 1955. John received two detentions the first was given by John McDermott for being a ‘Nuisance’ and the second, from a different master, was for being ‘1/4 hour late for detention’.

John McDermott taught Religious Instruction (R.I.). There is a great story involving Lennon, Shotton and McDermott and a classroom full of school lads dressed as vicars (courtesy of Lennon and Shotton) on page 40/41 of Pete Shotton’s book ‘Lennon In My Life’”.

May 23rd 1955. John was given two detentions. The first was given by Harry Dautch for ‘Chewing in class’ and the second was given by Oscar Greaves for ‘Noise’.

The system was all about "Bad Marks", so that if you did something to deserve a bad mark, this would stay on the record for a week and then would expire. If you got a second "Bad Mark" in the week then you would serve a detention. For really getting up a master's nose you would get 2 bad marks, which meant a detention right away. This is the explanation for the figure 1s and 2s in the sheets. Just because John was getting detentions from masters it does not necessarily mean that he was being taught by all of them at the time”.

H.D. - Harry Dautch, John’s French teacher. A kind and charming man with a great sense of humour, however John obviously did his best to prevent him teaching anything by fooling around in class. In John’s School Report from Christmas 1955 Mr. Dautch wrote ‘A disappointing result, He is so fond of obtaining a cheap laugh in class that he has little time left for serious concentration’”.

Oscar Greaves taught English, he was a very charming old chap. In his earlier years Lennon fooled around so much that according to Pete Shotton (verbal) he nearly had a nervous breakdown”.

May 25th 1955. John was the recipient of a detention from Oscar Greaves for ‘misbehaviour again’.

May 26th 1955. John received a detention from John McDermott for ‘Very bad behaviour’.

May 27th 1955. John was given two detentions. The first for ‘Sharing desk without permission’, the teacher who gave this detention was R. A. Roberts. The second was for not having his homework, ‘No Hwk’, this was given by a teacher named Graeme Nixon.

R.A. Roberts, known as “Jocky”, he features in the “Daily Howl” (John Lennon’s satirical hand written mock school newspaper). He lived in Woolton and owned a little pre-war Austin 7 in which the window glass was yellowed. We used to joke that it was “heraldic glass” as he was a history teacher. He was a very kind man who would often give you a lift back to Woolton if he saw you standing waiting at the bus stop”.

I.G.N. - Graeme Nixon, a maths teacher. Known as “Nick”, not a pleasant man according to Pete Shotton. I subsequently learned that he had been a very gallant tank commander in World War 1”.

June 6th 1955. John was the recipient of detention for ‘Talk’.

June 8th 1955. John was given a detention for ‘Talk’

June 13th 1955. John was the recipient of a detention from R. A. Roberts for ‘Repeated misconduct’.

June 15th 1955. John received two detentions. The first from G. J. Benzie for making ‘Silly noises during an examination’. The second was for ‘Bad behaviour, repeated’, given by a teacher with the initials ‘G.U.S’.

Benzie was a geography teacher but here he appears to have been invigilating an exam, although John did not take his GCEs until 1957”.

G.U.S. I can’t come up with a definite answer here as I am not familiar with the initials. The best candidate is Mr Shears, who was known as “Clipper” in my early years, then “Fred”. There was an English teacher Mr Lippett, who was known as “Gus” but he would have written his correct initials rather than his nickname”.

June 16th 1955. John was given two detentions. The first is an interesting detention for ‘Sabotage’ given to him by K. I. Lishman. The second was given by Oscar Greaves for ‘misbehaviour’.

K.I. Lishman, known as “Killer” because of his initials KIL. He was a no-nonsense Maths teacher. He is the origin of the comment “this boy is bound to fail” which has wrongly been attributed to the Headmaster W.E. Pobjoy. Lishman was not referring to failing in life, but merely to failing Maths GCE due to chronic absence! The actual quote is: “His term marks amounted to 17% of the maximum and he missed the final exams. He is certainly on the road to failure if this goes on. K.I.L.” The date of this comment is Summer 1956, so it would have been July”.

June 20th 1955. John received detention for ‘Just no interest whatsoever’.

June 22nd 1955. John was given a detention for ‘Idleness’.

June 23rd 1955. John received detention given by John McDermott for ‘Very Bad conduct’.

Peter Beech, John’s General Science teacher at Quarry Bank, remarked of the detention sheets, ‘The sheet is typical of John Lennon, he was an extremely cheeky boy! He did, however, know his limits. In the classroom, if you settled John down, you generally settling the class down! John Lennon’s chemistry teacher Eric Oldman said that John could actually go far’.

On being shown the detention sheets recently Beatles official biographer Hunter Davies, commented, ‘When I was interviewing John, back in the Sixties, he delighted in recounting all his misdemeanours at school, along with Pete Shotton, how naughty they were, then laughing at their own bad behaviour. I thought he was exaggerating, flamming it up for effect, as successful people do when they get older, making themselves more a rebel than they were - but it turns out to be all TRUE. These detention notes prove it. In a way they are laughable, in this permissive age, being detentioned for chewing gum or shouting, but at a grammar school in the Fifties - the sort of which I also attended - these were seen as terrible crimes, almost hanging offences, so the teachers liked to suggest…’"

...and here is the second sheet, this time relating to Form 4C:

Again, the press release shiznit:

"The detention sheet covers the period between November 25th 1955 and February 13th 1956, class 4C.

November 25th 1955. John was given a detention for ‘Comments’ by G. J. Benzie.

November 29th 1955. John received two detentions the first for ‘Talk’ imposed by Harry Dautch. Then a second was given to him by R. E. Shimmin for ‘Talk after warning’.

Mr Shimmin, a Manxman, John Lennon made various jokes about him in the “Daily Howl”. He was a science teacher”.

December 2nd 1955. John was given a detention by John McDermott for being a ‘Nuisance’.

December 6th 1955. John received two detentions this day. The first was given to him by R. E. Shimmin for ‘Fighting in the class room’ and the second was given to him by P. L. Burrows for ‘Shouting’.

P.L. Burrows, known as “Porky” because of his bulk, was John’s class teacher in his first year and is present on the class photo from that year. He is the man whom Derek Nimmo credited with stimulating his interest in drama. Porky taught English”.

January 9th 1956. John was given a detention by R. A. Roberts for ‘Misconduct’

January 16th 1956. John received three detentions in one day! The first was given to him by R. E. Shimmin for making ‘noise during lesson’, the second and third were given to him by H. Dautch for ‘Chewing’ and ‘Silliness’, respectively.

January 23rd 1956. John was the recipient of two detentions. One was given to him by R. A. Roberts for ‘Talk’ and the second was given to him by K.I. Lishman for ‘No input’.

February 9th 1956. John was given a detention for making an ‘Impudent answer to a question’.

February 10th 1956. John received a detention from R.L. Burrows for being ‘Late for lesson’ and another detention given to him later that day by John McDermott for being a ‘Nuisance’.

February 13th 1956. John was given three detentions in one day! The first for ‘Misconduct’, the second for ‘Talk after warnings’ given by R.E. Shimmin and the third for not having his homework, ‘no HW’, given by K.I. Lishman.

A note on the bottom of this sheet states that John Lennon was given a detention for being late, ‘Late 31/1, 8/2’ by his chemistry teacher, Eric Oldman.

Eric Oldman (known as “Ferric” because he taught chemistry) was the Housemaster of Woolton House, of which John was a member. It is possible that these detentions were for being late for school in the morning as John would normally have had to report to Oldman on arrival to be registered”."

Many thanks to Jason at Tracks. They are being auctioned on the 22nd, if you have the "moneys".

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Liverpool: Gambier Terrace, then unt nau.

This famous shot of John plus art school chums was taken in Gambier Terrace, No. 3 of which, as ye will know, was home for a while to the aforementioned (though paying rent was more of a theoretical possibility than an actual event). The former art school itself (about which more anon) can be seen through the gates in the new pic.
There's another photo of John plus further art school pals also taken on this very spot, though it's not in general circulation. This little corner of Liverpool remains remarkably unchanged, give or take the odd bush, Beatle or etc. Lovely stuff.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Lennon unt McCartney: then unt nau.

Lennon unt, as I clearly state in the blog post title, McCartney, then unt, as I clearly state in the blog post title, nau, above. John circa Pepper, Paul circa New.

But woooah there Padre! Just you hold on a minute! Who is this little fanny pack?:

Yes, that's right! It's me! (As ye will shurely know if ye read the almost identical post from blahblahblah...)

Friday, 18 October 2013

St Paul's Church, Covent Garden: Paul pops up.

As ye will shurely know by now, Paul done a pop up in Covent Garden today...and I was there! What's more, it was the second time in 3 days that I'd got within pantie-chucking distance of the great man (Errr...are you sure about the "panties" bit? - "Smalls" Ed.), having also been fortunate enough to get in to Wednesday's Maida Vale Radio 6 session (via a jammy mate who'd won tickets).
Lizzie Bravo emailed this morning to say it was happening, and so off I did scoot, pausing only to attend to my appearance; today I brushed all 4 of my remaining teeth. I got to Covent Garden with undue haste, to be greeted by the above scene...and within 10 minutes or so, there was Sir Macca plus band, as follows, running through a nifty 20 minute set:

At the "magic" piano:

The following two quite extraordinary pictures are available for licensing to the major agencies:

...and before ye knew it, over it all was:

I'd also been meaning to get a Nau at the newly re-opened HMV on Oxford Street, and today seemed like the day. Paul, of course, was signing copies of "New" there after the Covent Garden show, and it was all fairly chaotic. Here's how the shop looked when Brian turned up all those years ago, plus the present day consequences:

So, a fairly interesting couple of days then. One of the many good things about Mr Lewisohn's tome is that it treats all 4 of them as equally important to the story; there's no bias. There's no John bias, no Paul bias, no George bias, no Ringo bias. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that there's no bias.
By contrast, it can't be denied that this blog has a certain Lennon-centricity. A Lencentricity, if ye will. But, lest there be any doubt, and to paraphrase someone, if there is such a thing as a genius, then I think Paul is one...and if there isn't, I don't care either.
The Maida Vale gig on Wednesday took place in a small room, and to be 10 feet in front of "THE BASS", and actually hear Paul's superlative playing coming straight out of his amp, to trouser-flapping effect, was a truly fantastic experience. He really is quite good, isn't he? That is all.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Saltney Street/Dublin Street, Liverpool: Bonded Tea Warehouse.

Oh, wot a statement: the four of them pitched up on a patch of wasteland in front of a derelict warehouse, and a very odd sort of glamour, even now. Having made a few desultory attempts to track down this locale, I'd long since given up. Surely it had gone the way of much else immediately north of the Pier Head? Amazingly enough, no. It's still there - the Bonded Tea Warehouse on Dublin Street.
The adjacent Saltney Street was, according to Mr Lewisohn's esteemed tome, the very place where John's Irish ancestors had been domiciled in what were fairly appalling conditions (cholera etc). The housing is long gone, but the arrow marks the warehousal spot: tea, Indian tea, but no biscuits:

So, co-incidentally, here they appeared in late September 1962, and the warehouse has not changed one little bit half a century later:

In the interim, the patch of scrubland (formerly cholera-ridden housing) has been re-built upon, and currently accomodates a motley collection of wholesalers, car part suppliers et al, thus making it impossible to obtain an exact Then unt Nau, but the spot must lie roughly towards the back of this yard:

His Very Bobness also pops up here in 1966, around a fortnight before being captured on film talking shite with John in the back of a car (possibly coming from Kenwood) for Eat The Document:

Note the Brown Cow pub:

The building still there on the corner, next to the warehouse:

There are quite a few great pics of Bob on Dublin Street (a Google search will reveal several more), and one wonders how co-incidental this was. Bob has form, even turning up on a National Trust tour of Mendips a few years back, sly little Beatlemaniac that he is.
Anyway, I was very pleased to discover this not so little relic remains.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Mark Lewisohn's All These Years: 10.5/10.

(I've pretty much finished the trade edition of Mr Lewisohn's tome, and so here are a few mercifully brief thoughts. Before I begin, I should state that Mark is a mate, and a good one, so don't take this as a review, but rather a recommendation.)

It's been called The World At War of rock biographies, in that this is an enormous work of layered history, but what it puts me most in mind of is War and Peace. Obviously, Tolstoy's "whoppa" is historical fiction, and Mark's "bewk" has been written specifically to counteract the various and manifold fictions that have crept in to endless re-tellings of "the 20th century's greatest romance". Yet the structure of the thing, with multiple personal histories unfolding in parallel against the backdrop of a rapidly changing society, really reminds me of Lev's "big-boy". And these books are both, of course, very big-boys indeed.

All These Years is a magnificent piece of work, dense and detailed, but fast moving and, usefully, written free from hindsight-based comment, thus allowing the story to unfold as it happened. Mark's prose is clear, clever and highly readable. The big events are fully explained for the first time, and the small ones are, in many cases also for the first time, err...also explained. I haven't read another book which manages to convey the atmosphere and gathering excitement of those times as well as this.

I only have one real criticism, and, funnily enough, the very same one I'd level at War and Peace: it's too short. (Luckily, this will be rectified next month.)

If you are entertaining any doubts about reading yet another book about the Beatles, then cast these aside immediately, buy a copy and prepare to learn a lot (including why a sandwich would be the best symbol for John Lennon International Airport in Liverpool).

Roll on Volume 2 (no bread based punnery intended).

Monday, 9 September 2013

Kenwood: summer, 1968.

Screencaps filched from further footage, filmed at Kenwood beside the pool and in the sunroom, circa summer '68:

...no doubt the same day as the similar colour footage which has been up on YouTube for a while:

Ya nevah know, some naughty person might put this up one day too.

Mark Lewisohn: new ATY interview.

One month to go...

Hong Kong: Tiger Balm Garden/Mandarin Hotel.

In June 1977, John took Sean to Hong Kong, accompanied by a small retinue. The postcard above captures the location of the Tiger Balm Garden location, as visited by all concerned. The Gardens were a popular tourist spot, featuring, as they did, many gaudy statues, including the wedding ceremony of a pig and a rabbit, and a huge depiction of the 18 levels of hell from Taoist teachings. Inevitably, the whole lot was demolished a few years back in order to put up four skyscrapers, though some of the statuary was salvaged.
Whilst in HK, John, Sean plus all important small retinue stayed in the Mandarin hotel, where John happened to bump into David "Dave" Bowie one day.
Quoth the Dame: "Last time I saw John Lennon was in Hong Kong, we went to a Hong Kong market and there was a stall that sold old clothes and there was a Beatles jacket on the stall, and I did something that is not usually in my character—I asked him to put it on, so that I could take a photograph. I took a photograph, and I still got the photograph. The jacket doesn't fit properly, it looks like John has outgrown it.
Here's a pic, taken that day in the garden of the aforementioned Mandarin:

Bowie and Lennon were acquaintances in the mid-1970s, of course, and Dave has recounted a couple of amusing anecdotes, to wit:
“It's impossible for me to talk about popular music without mentioning probably my greatest mentor, John Lennon. I guess he defined for me, at any rate, how one could twist and turn the fabric of pop and imbue it with elements from other artforms, often producing something extremely beautiful, very powerful and imbued with strangeness. Also, uninvited, John would wax on endlessly about any topic under the sun and was over-endowed with opinions. I immediately felt empathy with that. Whenever the two of us got together it started to resemble Beavis and Butthead on "Crossfire."
The seductive thing about John was his sense of humor. Surrealistically enough, we were first introduced in about 1974 by Elizabeth Taylor. Miss Taylor had been trying to get me to make a movie with her. It involved going to Russia and wearing something red, gold and diaphanous. Not terribly encouraging, really. I can't remember what it was called -- it wasn'tOn the Waterfront, anyway, I know that.
We were in LA, and one night she had a party to which both John and I had been invited. I think we were polite with each other, in that kind of older-younger way. Although there were only a few years between us, in rock and roll that's a generation, you know? Oh boy, is it ever.
So John was sort of [in Liverpool accent] "Oh, here comes another new one." And I was sort of, "It's John Lennon! I don't know what to say. Don't mention the Beatles, you'll look really stupid."
And he said, "Hello, Dave." And I said, "I've got everything you've made -- except the Beatles."
A couple of nights later we found ourselves backstage at the Grammys where I had to present "the thing" to Aretha Franklin. Before the show I'd been telling John that I didn't think America really got what I did, that I was misunderstood. Remember that I was in my 20s and out of my head.
So the big moment came and I ripped open the envelope and announced, "The winner is Aretha Franklin." Aretha steps forward, and with not so much as a glance in my direction, snatches the trophy out of my hands and says, "Thank you everybody. I'm so happy I could even kiss David Bowie." Which she didn't! And she promptly spun around swanned off stage right. So I slunk off stage left.
And John bounds over and gives me a theatrical kiss and a hug and says "See, Dave. America loves ya."
We pretty much got on like a house on fire after that.
He once famously described glam rock as just rock and roll with lipstick on. He was wrong of course, but it was very funny.
Towards the end of the 70s, a group of us went off to Hong Kong on a holiday and John was in, sort of, house-husband mode and wanted to show Sean the world. And during one of our expeditions on the back streets a kid comes running up to him and says, "Are you John Lennon?" And he said, "No but I wish I had his money." Which I promptly stole for myself.
[imitating a fan] "Are you David Bowie?"
No, but I wish I had his money.
It's brilliant. It was such a wonderful thing to say. The kid said, "Oh, sorry. Of course you aren't," and ran off. I thought, "This is the most effective device I've heard."
I was back in New York a couple of months later in Soho, downtown, and a voice pipes up in my ear, "Are you David Bowie?" And I said, "No, but I wish I had his money."
"You lying bastard. You wish you had my money." It was John Lennon.”

Bowie has also said that he captured some footage of John in 1975, whilst filming test material for a proposed Diamond Dogs film:
"Every now and then the camera catches sight of [John Lennon] in the background, sitting there with his guitar playing hits of the day and saying, ‘What the bloody hell are you doing, Bowie? It’s so negative, all your shit, all this Diamond Dogs mutant crap!’
As far as I know, this delightful filmic exchange has yet to see daylight.